Locked out and left behind: Boosting small business confidence a necessity
54% of South African business owners feel confident about their business prospects, Sage research reveals
By Anton van Heerden, Managing Director and Executive Vice-President, Africa & Middle East at Sage
Following the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, economic inequality is once again on the agenda for the worlds leaders. Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, for example spoke about addressing the concerns of people around the world who have been locked out and left behind by globalisation and the modern economy.
Sadly, as Sage CEO Stephen Kelly noted, the Small & Medium Businesses that hold the key to job creation and prosperity are in fact, locked out and left behind by forums like Davos and others.
Small businesses create life-changing opportunities for ordinary peoplehelping them to put their children through school and university, pay their bonds, feed their families and, ultimately take charge of their financial futures.
The good news is that even in uncertain political times and when feeling neglected by government policy, small businesses are resilient and their owners are determined to make a difference.
In order to give business builders a platform to connect with policy makers, Sage launched its Forum for Business Builders. The Forum brings entrepreneurs from around the world insights, events and policy-forming partnerships to give them a powerful collective voice that can be heard on the world stage.
Our research indicates that:
- 54% South African respondents are confident about their prospects in the next six months.
- 43% said that they had no plans to change their business plans because of global political events.
- Their greatest concerns are currency exchange rates (45%), inflation (43%) and interest rates (28%) macroeconomic challenges that arent easily addressed in todays volatile climate.
- 26% feel that the exchange rate and access to funding (20%) will create the biggest challenge for their business in 2017.
Yet there are many steps government policy makers can take to help entrepreneurs and nurture their confidence. Incentives such as tax breaks, a more favourable regulatory environments and a simpler tax regime are just some of the ways that could prove to be a positive method in boosting the confidence of small businesses.
We believe that the private / public sectors need to work together to invest in and support small businesses and cooperatives to reduce the levels of poverty in South Africa. The right kind of support from government could give entrepreneurs the faith in the economy to invest more and change the path of the local economy. Consider exporters how could we boost them through tax incentives, for example?
As a champion for business builders, thats what we hope to achieve with initiatives such as the Forum.
Idea Engineers (PR agency for Sage)
Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030
Sage is the market and technology leader for integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems, supporting the ambition of entrepreneurs and business builders. Today, business builders measure success in strong relationships, partnerships, and communities. Its why Sage helps drive todays business builders with the most intelligent and flexible cloud-enabled software, support, and advice to manage everything from money to people. Daily, more than 13,000 Sage colleagues in 23 countries work with a thriving global community of over 3 million entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners, and developers to champion the success of business builders everywhere. And as a FTSE 100 business, we are passionate about doing business the right way, supporting our local communities through the Sage Foundation.
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